to our Hornby home.
We hope you have a wonderful time in our
house, and on the island in general.
The house may
have a smell. Air it well the first day.
If the house has
been vacant for a while you probably need to turn some things on. Check these
things on arrival - they may or may not need doing:
Go to the circuit panel, which is located behind a wood covering above the
toilet. If they are not on, turn on the water pump (#13) and the hot water
heater (#10 & #11).
In winter months we often drain the pipes to prevent freezing. Open a tap - if water comes out there’s
nothing to do. If not, then proceed as follows:
Go to the water tank room (door on your right as you go from living room
to large bedroom). Look down and see the
yellow control handle in the line at your feet. Open it. Go outside and locate
the tap beneath the kitchen window. It should be running. Shut it. Go back
inside and shut all taps in kitchen and bathrooms.
We observe a
basic Jewish Kosher food policy – I would prefer that you not bring into the
house any pork products or shellfish, but it’s your call.
appliances work as you would expect. Use washing machine sparingly (two loads
in one day chokes the treatment system). It might stop during the rinse cycle –
so just lift the lid and let it drop back roughly. That usually does the trick.
The microwave and stove are fine. The
fridge is cold – keep the dial near Normal, turn down on leaving.
We use tap
water for general washing purposes and bottled water for drinking, coffee,
etc. Use the water you find - but please
replace it before you leave. (You can buy different sizes at the co-op - the
best is to take back the big blue empty and refill it at the co-op, at the gas
bar or at Ford Cove).
Eat any open
packages or perishables that you find.
Use the spices, etc that you need. Replace any cans or packages you
Don’t use metal
spoons or spatulas on the teflon frypans.
on a septic system, be careful what goes down the drain. Large amounts of
grease are bad. Coffee grounds go into compost.
There have been
mice sometimes (though not this year) so it's a good idea to keep things in
sealed containers or up high. There’s an ultra-sonic mouse zapper (small white
round thing) plugged into a wall outlet - keep it there. Don’t pile dishes in front of it or you block
the ultra-sonic waves.
Clean the floor
with water only. Sweep (don't vacuum)
WHERE TO FIND...
In the kitchen,
the far left drawer (below the microwave) contains a
lot of papers and stuff. There you will
find the instruction manuals for various appliances, fireplace, etc. There are envelopes with info about Hornby
itself and surrounding areas. There’s a ring of keys (with a red tag) to the
sheds and second storage room. Also there’s a supply
of emergency candles and matches.
living room and large bedroom is a storage room. In it are folding chairs, warm
clothing, vacuum cleaner and extra bags, light bulbs, battery radio and other
supplies for power outages (see below), etc.
We also keep some tools there in case something breaks on you.
Along the side
of the house is a second storage room. Keys are in the drawer. More tools here, but also the hammock.
(Hammock hooks are on the sides of the trees in the deck. Rain coming? - store
it by hanging on the nails on the outside wall.)
The mud room
outside the kitchen has seasonal outdoor stuff - citronella oil and table
cloths in summer, shovel & salt in winter.
The switch for
the outdoor path light (it gets dark in the country) is on the far wall of the
living room. The switch for the dining
room track lighting is where the cord enters the wall outlet.
(the coloured Hornby one is especially useful) are in
the drawers beside the games.
suffers from unpredictable blackouts, though mostly in winter. It’s good to
know where things are before that happens. Check now.
Candles are all
over, with extras in the kitchen drawer and inside store room. Matches are in
the kitchen drawer and dining room dresser drawer.
There should be
small flashlights beside each bed. Headlamp hangs in storage room. Please don’t
waste these flashlights - if you go out at night and wear down the batteries,
please put in fresh batteries. Then buy some replacements.
There's a combo
flashlight/radio on the dining room window ledge. There's another battery operated radio hanging on a nail in the storage
room also has a Coleman stove and a lantern. The lantern uses batteries. The stove operates on camping fuel - there is
some there. (If you need to refill, do
it outdoors or in the mud room. And do
it by flashlight, not candle light!!!)
Don’t use the
sinks or flush the toilet. The pump to
the septic will be out. Water can be
gotten from the taps (the
pressure tank will continue to work) but dump waste water in the woods.
Cold? Light the
Water is a
problem on Hornby both in terms of quantity and quality.
Quantity- Hornby Island sits in the rainshadow of
the Vancouver Island mountains. Summers
are often very dry. We get our water
from a well on the property which, while adequate for our needs, needs to be
used carefully. Observe the common
precautions against waste - don’t let extra water run when washing dishes, kleenex in garbage not the toilet, “if it’s yellow let it
mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”, keep showers short, etc.
Quality - Much of the water on Hornby is sulphurous. Ours isn’t too bad, but you’ll still notice
it. Use the tap water for all washing of
dishes and selves. Take off your silver
jewelry while you’re here - the sulphur will darken
it. We use bottled water for drinking
purposes. There’s a bottle in the bathroom for brushing teeth (not for washing)
- refill it from the kitchen jug. Just
use what you see and replace before you leave.
All our waste
water goes to a septic system. (It’s on
your left as you walk up the driveway) You shouldn’t have to worry about it
at all but you should be aware not to put any bleach, excessive soaps or
detergents, coffee grounds, excess grease or other funny stuff into the
system. In fact, gentlemen on
antibiotics are requested to pee in the woods.
Please use the minimum of toilet paper.
Put kleenex, dental floss etc. into the
garbage, not the toilet. Most important - don't overload it (eg: don't do too many showers or laundry loads in a day)!
If the control panel (located on the post beside the septic field) alarm goes
off, and the light goes on, you've swamped it. Push the light to silence the
alarm and drastically reduce your water use! It should clear. If the alarm
returns, or if the light flashes, or if something terrible goes wrong call
Daniel Siegel or Sasha Lebaron (phone numbers on
The toilet in the main bathroom is a
low-flush device - less water used. Push handle for light flush - push &
hold for heavier flush. The drawback to this is that sometimes it plugs instead
of flushing. Don't feel guilty - just
grab the nearby plunger and get busy. (That didn’t do it? Fill a bucket with
hot water from the tub faucet and pour it into the toilet from a height.) You
can reduce the likelihood of this by going easy on the toilet paper. And
remember, no dental floss, kleenex, etc.
The toilet in
the second bathroom is even fussier - it's designed to chop everything up
first. Body wastes & paper only!
For hot water in this bathroom, plug in the heater under the sink (black
cord). Unplug when leaving us.
GARBAGE, COMPOST & RECYCLE
There is NO
garbage collection on Hornby. The locals
must pay for each bag they leave at the recycle centre. Visitors take their garbage off island with
them. So plan what you’re going to do with each thing.
Hornby has a
very active recycle depot. (It’s actually one of the local highlights and worth
a visit. In summer it’s open Thurs- Sunday, 9AM - 1PM. There’s a free store there too. We recycle here. In one of the sheds you’ll find several boxes
for recycle collection. CLEAN your
stuff, sort it into paper, plastic, metal, free store, etc. You can either leave it in the shed for us to
take, or take it to the depot yourself and get the Hornby experience.
enclosure behind the sheds is the compost bin.
Put in it all vegetable matter - but no meats, greasy foods, etc.
goes into a garbage bag, then into your trunk!
Take it to the depot (and pay the fee) or take it off the island.
This is a no-smoking house. If you smoke, please
do it outdoors, (ashtrays are in the mud room) and throw all butts into the
all ground-floor windows if you
leave the house- even Hornby has break-ins.
Screens are optional during the day, but beware - in summer mosquitos
come out a few hours before sunset.
wear shoes indoors. Leave wet clothing in the mud room before you
come in. In winter you may hang stuff
above the woodstove to dry it. (There’s a lifting tool hanging on the wall)
The washer and dryer work (though the
washer tends to get stuck mid-cycle. Advance the dial one click) But remember: don't waste water, and
no excess detergents in the septic. Be
stereo system in the dining room gently. If you use our cassettes or CD's, put
them back into the cases immediately after use.
We have some
night-lights around. Put one in the dining room or living room wall outlet. It
will illuminate a safe descent from the second floor to the bathroom. The top floor is most suited to short
people (kids!). There are beds, but it’s mostly a jumping space. In winter we
usually seal it off with styrofoam. If you remove the styrofoam,
note the pattern first for easy re-assembly before you leave.
There is no wifi. Cell phone
reception is best on the second floor.
You can probably get your email on a smart phone with data plan if you
The wood stove in the living room throws a
lot of heat. You probably don’t want to bother with it in summer unless the
weather is wretched. A detailed
instruction book is in the kitchen drawer.
Basic idea: slide the lever just below the door to the open position to
get the fire going (a bed of crumpled paper, a layer of kindling, then bigger
stuff), then adjust it sideways once the wood is all caught. Put cold ashes in compost or in the woods
(where we won't see it). There’s glass
cleaner under the sink. Kindling (& hatchet) is in the standalone
shed. Don’t waste kindling.
The phone number is
(250) 335-1955. All Hornby phones begin (250) 335- and are local calls. Calls
to Courtnay/Comox are also local. Do not charge
long-distance calls to us. Bill long
distance to your own number or else don’t phone!! Expecting a call? – look for the red
flashing light on the wall unit and then press PLAY.
You don’t need
to do anything more with the outdoors than enjoy it. Be careful where you walk
and you won’t damage any plants. If you're
here for a week or more during dry weather, you might feel inclined to water
them. I’d appreciate that. There are jugs of water for that purpose behind the
house. (I bet you were wondering about
Keep the gate
closed so deer don’t enter and eat the garden.
Don't use the
outdoor chairs indoors. (There are
indoor folding chairs in the storage room)
The fish don’t
need to be fed - it’s amazing how well they do on their own. In fact,
overfeeding adds to the algae growth and is a bad idea. But in case you want to
treat them, you’ll find fish food in the Pond Box in the storage room, or maybe
on the table outside the door. Never
feed them in the cold months.
There are bikes
in the shed (keys in kitchen drawer), though we've locked up our personal
bikes. The brakes on the blue bike are bad in wet weather. There are helmets
and bike locks there, too - use them!
There are frisbees, water sport items and other recreation in the same
You can easily
walk to the beach access at Grassy Point. It’s a great spot for viewing
sunsets. Swimming is good there when the tide is high (possible currents off
the point). But for sandy beaches you want Whaling Station Bay or Tribune Bay.
Whaling Station is a favorite of families with very young kids. Tribune Bay is
a provincial park and has parking lots, toilets, lots of sand and people. Little Tribune is the clothing-optional,
quieter undeveloped beach accessible from Little Trib
Road near the Co-op.
The Co-op is
the hub of island activity. You can buy almost anything there. You don’t need a
membership to shop there, but if you tell them ours (#1863) we will earn some
minimal rebate on the purchase. Around
the Co-op are bookstores, bike repair, ice cream, two restaurants and more.
There is Community Access computers in case you can't live without wifi. Also a frozen fish outlet
beside the pizza near the Co-op.
restaurants? There is pizza from a small structure near the Co-op intersection
and another (cheaper) pizza and fish&chips stand
at Ford Cove. Spectacular sunsets (and waiting lineups) at the restaurant above
the Ford Cove store. The restaurant near the ferry is decent - but financial
troubles and ongoing construction may mean they're not functioning. Sea Breeze
Lodge has a fancy dinner - call to get the menu and book. Fancy dinner also
available at Larena Vineyard. In late summer the island abounds in
is an easy walk past magnificent views. Plan two hours
and carry water. Mount Geoffrey has
hiking trails (enter from Strachan Rd) and biking trails (enter from beside the
cemetery). Maps available at the bike shop near the co-op. Kids fish off the docks at Ford Cove and
Shingle Spit. There are fossils and
petroglyphs at low tide if you know where to look. On moonless nights look at
the bioluminescence at Phipps Point. Renting kayaks is fun. The newsletter The
Island Grapevine lists tides and general goings on, and there’s more local
stuff in The Tribune – pick these up at the Co-op. Read the notice boards
around the co-op to find out what’s happening on the island. Wednesdays and
Saturdays in summer there’s a food & crafts market near The Community Hall
- and sometimes a movie in the evening - check to see what else during the
week. There’s a
medical centre near the Community Hall. In summer the
RCMP have a detachment next door. Visit the Free Store at the Recycling Center.
Sample some cider at Fossil Beach. Buy some local pottery and art. There's an
ATM at the Thatch and at the Co-op and another at the Credit Union behind The
Do you have any
comments or suggestions for us? We’d love
to hear them. Please leave us a note in
our visitors book which should be on the dining
Don’t leave us
your garbage! We don’t want it! Put all the (cleaned) recycle stuff in the
shed. Put the compost in its bin. Anything else goes into a garbage bag and you
take it off the island or to the depot.
food items should be in sealed containers so the mice won’t get them after you’re gone. Don't leave perishables in the fridge.
baseboard heaters turned off? (In winter leave the dining room thermostat set
Did you close
the fireplace damper and reload the wood boxes?
Appliances off? Mouse zapper plugged in?
Is the cord to the
water heater in the second bathroom unplugged?
kitchen all clean?
Are the shed
and outside storage room locked?
All taps closed
tight? In winter, you may need to drain
the pipes. If so, go to the water tank room (see "On Arrival" section)
and close the tap at your feet. Then open some inside taps. Finally, go outside
and find the tap below the kitchen window. Open it to drain.
If no one is
going to be here in the next few days you need to turn some electrical circuits
off. Go to the circuit panel above the toilet. Turn off the hot water heater
(#10 & #11) and (in winter only) the water pump (#13). In the second
bathroom, if you plugged in the hot water before then unplug it now.
If someone is
coming here soon, or if you know the property manager will be doing this (quite
likely), you can skip all this switches and faucets stuff.
If you are a
summer renter, then we have a cleaning person coming in after you to do floors,
bathrooms, etc. Even so, you still must empty the fridge, clean your dishes,
put recycles in the shed and dispose of your garbage.
Hornby phone book (esp. page 2) is very useful.
My number in
Vancouver is (604) 879-4466. Or text me at (604) 537-6930. But you shouldn’t
Septic system misbehaving
(lights and buzzers going)? Sasha Lebaron services it (Hornby: (250) 335-3038 Cell: (778) 992-0269)
Your first line
of help is to call Daniel Siegel.
His number is 250-335-3020. He's
our property manager- so he has keys, knows the building, and is authorized to
contact any repair people as needed.